Thursday, February 28, 2013

Waiāhole Ditch

In 1897, the Oʻahu Sugar Company established a large-scale sugar plantation on the dry, southwestern side of Oʻahu.  Irrigation water for the sugar-cane plantation was initially pumped from the Pearl Harbor aquifer.

Because of the high pumping cost, the Oahu Sugar Company constructed the Waiāhole Ditch System to transport, by gravity, surface water from the northeastern side of the Koʻolau Range.  The Waiāhole Ditch collection and delivery system was initially constructed during 1913-1916.

The system intercepts large amounts of dike-impounded ground water at high altitudes (above approximately 700 to 800-ft) that previously discharged to Waiāhole (and its tributaries Waianu and Uwao), Waikāne and Kahana Streams through seeps and springs.

The main tunnel through the Koʻolau Range was primarily designed as a transmission tunnel. The success of this tunnel in intercepting large amounts of dike-impounded ground water in the Koʻolau Range led to the construction of additional high-level ground-water development tunnels.

Between 1925 and 1935, six tunnels with headings directed into the Koʻolau Range were added to the ditch system to develop ground water stored in dike compartments. Four development tunnels (Uwao, Waikāne 1, Waikāne 2 and Kahana) were considered successful.

For nearly a century, the Waiāhole Ditch System has diverted an average of approximately 27-million gallons per day of water from the wet, northeastern part of windward Oʻahu, to the dry, central part of the island to meet irrigation needs.

This diverted flow consists of ground water gained from the connecting tunnels, the four development tunnels, and the trans-Koʻolau tunnel and of surface water gained primarily from Kahana Valley.

The flow diversion through the tunnel is pretty low tech; a redwood board determines the flow direction and amount.  Depending on which marker the board is raised or lowered to, more or less water flows to leeward or windward areas.

If the board is raised, more water flows to the leeward side.  Conversely, the more the board is lowered, the greater the amount of water that flows to Waiāhole stream.

The Waiāhole Ditch collection and delivery system is a 26.5-mile-long system, also called "the ditch," extending from Kahana Valley on the Windward side to the Kunia area on the Leeward side.

The effects of Waiāhole Ditch diversions received significant attention in 1993, when it became known that large amounts of diverted water were not being used for irrigation and instead were being released into streams on the leeward side of Oʻahu.   This coincided with the Oʻahu Sugar Company announcement of the closure of its sugar-plantation operations.

Windward stream water for leeward uses initiated a legal proceeding (Waiāhole Ditch Contested Case) before the Hawaiʻi Commission on Water Resource Management (CWRM) over rights to the water.

The Waiāhole case arose from the efforts of small family farmers and Native Hawaiians, led by citizen groups Hakipuʻu ʻOhana, Ka Lahui Hawaiʻi, Kahaluʻu Neighborhood Board, Makawai Stream Restoration Alliance and a coalition of supporters (collectively the "Windward Parties"), to restore streams originally diverted by Central O`ahu sugar plantations.

But large scale agricultural and development interests, including Campbell Estate, Robinson Estate, Kamehameha Schools, Dole/Castle & Cooke, and others, joined by the State, pushed to continue the flow of Windward water to leeward lands to subsidize golf course irrigation, short-term corporate agriculture, and housing development.

After seven months of administrative hearings, the Water Commission issued its first decision in 1997, which both the Windward and Leeward parties appealed to the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court.

The Windward Parties argued that not enough water had been restored to the streams, while Leeward interests complained that too much water had been returned.

In August 2000, the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in the first appeal.  Although the Court acknowledged the Commission's efforts at stream restoration, it vacated the Commission's decision and sent the case back to the Commission.

After holding more hearings, the Commission issued a second decision in December 2001, which the Windward Parties again appealed.

The Court ruled that much of the decision failed to comply with the State Water Code and public trust principles, and the Commission had failed to make sufficient findings, based on evidence in the record, to support its various rulings.

It ordered the Commission to reconsider the amount of water the Windward streams need to support native stream life and community uses, vacated permits the Commission had issued to Leeward interests, and ordered the Commission to make a new decision on the permits that followed from the evidence.

On July 14, 2006, the Hawaiʻi State Commission on Water Resource Management issued a split decision in the landmark water rights litigation over the stream flows diverted by the Waiāhole Ditch System on O`ahu.

Four members of the Commission (a majority) voted to largely maintain the allocations the Commission approved in its original 1997 decision, including extensive diversions for Leeward uses, such as corporate agriculture and golf courses.

However, two Commissioners issued a dissent criticizing the majority for failing to give more protection to Windward stream resources and uses. As Water Commission Chair, I was happy to have authored the dissent (with significant assistance from the Attorney General’s office) and pleased that Chiyome Fukino, state Department of Health Director, joined me in the dissent.

In 2010, the Intermediate Court of appeals vacated the water use permit issued in the 2006 decision and remanded the case back to the Water Commission.

(Lots of information here from USGS and EarthJustice reporting on the ditch system and Waiāhole Ditch case.)  The image shows the drilling of the tunnels for the Waiāhole Ditch; in addition, other images have been added in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Queen’s Imprisonment

On the advice of his physician King Kalākaua traveled to the US continent for a change of climate to recuperate his health. He died at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco on January 20, 1891.

His remains were brought back to Hawaiʻi aboard the USS Charleston. As the ship rounded Diamond Head, the flags were seen lowered to half-mast, and it was then that the King's subjects realized Kalākaua was dead.

Kalākaua was succeeded by his sister, Liliʻuokalani, who was proclaimed Queen on January 29, 1891. Her experience as Princess Regent during King Kalākaua’s nine-month journey around the world in 1881 and her visit to the United States in 1887 with Queen Kapiʻolani helped prepare her for her new role as Queen of Hawaiʻi.

Queen Liliʻuokalani was determined to strengthen the political power of the Hawaiian monarchy and, at the request of her people, to limit suffrage to subjects of the kingdom.

Her attempt to promulgate a new constitution galvanized opposition forces into the Committee of Safety, which was composed of Hawaiʻi-born citizens of American parents, naturalized citizens and foreign nationals; they later organized the establishment of a provisional government.

On January 17, 1893, Queen Lili`uokalani yielded her authority to the US government in a letter delivered to Sanford B Dole: “…Now to avoid any collision of armed forces, and perhaps the loss of life, I do this under protest and impelled by said force yield my authority until such time as the Government of the United States shall, upon facts being presented to it, undo the action of its representatives and reinstate me in the authority which I claim as the Constitutional Sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands.”

"Weary with waiting, impatient under the wrongs they were suffering, preparations were undoubtedly made amongst some in sympathy with the monarchy to overthrow the oligarchy."  (Queen Liliʻuokalani)

In 1895, an abortive attempt by Hawaiian royalists to restore Queen Liliʻuokalani to power resulted in the Queen's arrest. She signed a document of abdication that relinquished all her future claims to the throne. Following this, she endured a public trial before a military tribunal in her former throne room.

Convicted of having knowledge of a royalist plot, “at two o'clock on the afternoon of the 27th of February I was again called into court, and sentence passed upon me. It was the extreme penalty for "misprision of treason," – a fine of $5,000, and imprisonment at hard labor for five years.” (Queen Liliʻuokalani)

The sentence was commuted to imprisonment in an upstairs apartment in ʻIolani Palace.

Queen Liliʻuokalani's “prison” room is on the makai-Diamond Head second-floor corner of ʻIolani Palace.  If you visit the Palace today, the area where the Queen was held is clearly noted by its white covered-over window.

Contrary to urban legend, the Palace windows were not frosted and painted over to block the Queen’s ability to see out and others to see her inside.

In 1887, the Palace’s second story windows were opaque glass.  When the Palace was attacked in 1889 during the initial Wilcox Rebellion, many of the Place windows were broken.  When repairs were made (through 1890,) these windows were replaced with frosted glass.
There are apparently no photographs of the Queen's room during her imprisonment.  She describes the apartment as, "a large, airy, uncarpeted room with a single bed in one corner. The other furniture consisted of one sofa, a small square table, one single common chair, an iron safe, a bureau, a chiffonier (storage for odds and ends,) and a cupboard, intended for eatables ... There was, adjoining the principal apartment, a bath-room, and also a corner room and a little boudoir ..."  (Queen Liliʻuokalani)

During her imprisonment, the Queen was denied any visitors other than one lady in waiting (Mrs. Eveline Wilson.) She began each day with her daily devotions followed by reading, quilting, crochet-work or music composition.

“Though I was still not allowed to have newspapers or general literature to read, writing-paper and lead-pencils were not denied; and I was thereby able to write music, after drawing for myself the lines of the staff.”  (Queen Liliʻuokalani)

The Palace has a quilt the Queen made; the center square of Liliʻuokalani's quilt includes the embroidered words "Imprisoned at Iolani Palace ... We began the quilt there ..."

“Surrounding the Kalakaua coat of arms and framed by pairs of crossed Hawaiian flags, the center block outlines the sequence of events that changed the course of Hawaiian history, including the stitched date the Provisional Government was put in place, when Lili'uokalani was forced to step down, and the date of the aborted Wilcox revolution that precipitated the queen's arrest." (Star-Bulletin)

Embroidered dates indicate the quilt was completed after Liliʻuokalani's release on September 6, 1895.

She spent 8 months in this room.  After her release from ʻIolani Palace, the Queen remained under house arrest for five months at her private home, Washington Place. For another eight months she was forbidden to leave Oʻahu before all restrictions were lifted.

Liliʻuokalani died of a stroke on November 11, 1917 in Honolulu at the age of 79.

The image shows the welcoming of Queen Liliʻuokalani at Washington Place on her return from imprisonment.  In addition, I have added other images in a folder of like kind in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Tantalus is located in the Koʻolau mountain range in the Kona district of the island of O‘ahu. The ridges that carry Tantalus Drive and Round Top Drive surround Makiki Valley. Within this valley, three streams, Kānealole, Moleka and Maunalaha, eventually drain into Māmala Bay off of the Honolulu Plain.

Early Hawaiians grew taro near the mouth of Makiki Valley where runoff from the three streams created ideal agricultural conditions.

Archaeologists speculate that by the 1600s the lowland forests had been extensively harvested and that approximately eighty-percent of the land below 2,000-feet elevation was altered.

Puʻu ʻŌhiʻa, its traditional name, had been given the name “Tantalus” during a hiking excursion by the Punahou student hiking club, the Clan Alpine (mid-1800s.)

The students began their hike at Pu‘u ‘Ualaka‘a. As night approached, they found themselves at the edge of the ridge overlooking Poloke Valley. Unable to continue due to the thick undergrowth, the boys were forced to give up their ascent. Versed in Greek mythology, the students named the mountain ‘Tantalus’. (National Register)

(The mythological Tantalus was condemned to an afterlife of insatiable hunger and thirst due to unreachable pools of water and overhanging fruit.)

‘Round Top’ and ‘Sugar Loaf’ were also named by early Punahou students; these names appear on an 1873 ‘Map of Makiki Valley’ surveyed by William De Witt Alexander.

Mo‘olelo (Hawaiian stories) indicate that Pu‘u ‘Ualaka‘a was a favored locality for sweet potato cultivation and King Kamehameha I established his personal sweet potato plantation here.

‘Pu‘u translates as “hill” and ‘ualaka‘a means “rolling sweet potato”, so named for the steepness of the terrain. Within the valley is a quarry where the basalt outcrop was chipped into pieces to make octopus lures. That is believed to be the origin of the word ‘makiki’ – a type of stone used for weights in octopus lures.

Historical attempts at cultivation in the Makiki-Tantalus area included a coffee plantation by JM Herring along Moleka Stream in the late-1800s (valley conditions proved too wet for coffee beans to flourish) and Hawai‘i’s first commercial macadamia nut plantation along the west side of Pu‘u ‘Ualaka‘a.  Rows of macadamia nuts trees from the original orchard remain today.

Due to the close proximity to Honolulu Harbor, the Makiki-Tantalus forest underwent severe deforestation in two periods. In the first period, heavy timber was cut for the sandalwood trade with China from 1815 to 1826.

In the second period, 1833 to 1860, wood was primarily harvested as fuel for the whaling trade to render whale blubber into oil.  By the late-1800s most of Makiki was bare, denuded of trees. The native forest was gone.

As early as 1846, the Kingdom of Hawai‘i was facing development pressure from the public regarding the Makiki-Tantalus watershed. The barren hillsides were heavily eroded and the quantity and quality of fresh water in the streams was compromised.

That same year, King Kamehameha III passed a law declaring forests to be government property. In 1876, the Kingdom passed the “Act for the Protection and Preservation of Woods and Forests” including watershed preservation.  In 1880, further legislation was enacted to protect all watershed areas that contributed domestic water supplies in the Makiki, Tantalus, Round Top and Pauoa area.

Despite the establishment of the protected area, 1890s legislation allowed citizens to acquire residential property on Tantalus.

The beginnings of Tantalus and Round Top drives date to 1892. The 10-mile drive was completed as gravel roads in 1917, and first paved in 1937.  The Tantalus-Round Top road is a 10-mile drive that begins near the entrance to Pūowaina (Punchbowl -National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.)

The Biennial Report of the Minister of the Interior to the Legislative Assembly of 1892 states that the Tantalus carriage road  “begins at the Punchbowl Road, forming a junction with the same at the rear of the hill, at an elevation of about 285 feet, and follows a 5% grade up the ridge known as the forest ridge, to the narrow ridge, dividing Makiki from Pauoa Valley, at an elevation of about 1450 feet; then around the South Slope of Tantalus and head of the ravines leading into Makiki, to a point by the Pond just above ‘Sugar Loaf.’”

The roadway climbs Tantalus Drive along the Kalāwahine ridge between Pauoa and Makiki Valleys and then descends along Round Top Drive on the ridge linking Pu‘u ‘Ōhi‘a (Mount Tantalus, 2,013-feet,) Pu‘u Kākea (Sugarloaf, 1,408-feet) and Pu‘u ‘Ualaka‘a (Round Top, 1,052-feet,) then past Maunalaha Valley Road to Makiki Street.

The continuing development of the carriage road was reported in the June 1898 issue of the Paradise of the Pacific, “Myth of Mountain Tantalus”: "At every turn are new sections of the glorious and ever expanding panorama of ocean and sky; of mountain, town and plain, including large portions of the island. But the richest part of the road above where it cuts through the upper wildwood of koa and kukui, intermingled with luxuriant fern and wild ginger- all overhanging the deep canyons. One is here in another world – cool, green, moist…it is a long and tedious climb to Tantalus, but once there, the lingering visitor will never regret or forget its romance and the melancholy cadence of its winds.”

In 1906, the Civic Federation of Honolulu brought Charles Mulford Robinson, a well-known civic adviser from Rochester, New York for a survey of streets, parks and public works in Honolulu. He recommended securing the top of Tantalus for “the one great park for Honolulu that cities now are learning to secure and save for the people, that they may get close to nature, forgetting the fences and survey lines which civilization has thrown like a network of prison walls upon the world.”

The Tantalus-Round Top stretch is the first roadway on Oʻahu to be placed on the state historic register. Kūhiō Highway on Kauaʻi and Hana Highway on Maui are on the state and national registers of historic places.  (According to Historic Roads, a national group dedicated to preserving old thoroughfares, there are 97 roads in the nation listed as historic.)  (Info from Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation and National Register.)

The image shows buggies on Tantalus in the 1900s.  In addition, I have added other images in a folder of like kind in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Kaunolū Village, Lānaʻi

Lānaʻi was under the control of nearby Maui before written history. Its first inhabitants may have arrived as late as the 15th century.

The first people to migrate here, most likely from Maui and Molokaʻi, probably established fishing villages along the coast, initially; but later branched out into the interior where they raised taro in the fertile volcanic soil.

Lānaʻi was first seen by Europeans in February 25, 1779, when Captain Charles Clarke sighted the island from aboard James Cook's HMS Resolution. Clarke had taken command of the ship after Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay on February 14 and was leaving the islands for the North Pacific.

Kaunolū Village is located on the south coast of the island of Lānaʻi. This former fishing village, abandoned in the 1880s, is the Island’s largest surviving ruins of a prehistoric Hawaiian village.

Old house foundations, terraces and petroglyphs are found at Kaunolū along with the remains of an ancient sacred area called Halulu Heiau, high on the edge of a cliff above the bay.

The archaeological site is very well-preserved and covers almost every phase of Hawaiian culture.  It was designated a US National Historic Landmark in 1962 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.

The site consists of two historical villages straddling Kaunolū Gulch, a dry stream bed subject to occasional flash floods after rainstorms at higher elevations. The village on the western side was named Kaunolū; the one on the eastern side was called Keāliakapu.

The land is parched, with little fresh water, but the sheltered bay at the end of the gulch offers access to rich fishing in the deep seas below the high cliffs along the south coast of the island. Ancient Hawaiian bone lures used to troll for pelagic fish were found in Ulaula Cave, a small lava tube near the village.

After Kamehameha had conquered all the islands, he visited the village of Kaunolū to fish and sport.  His residence was on the bluff which forms the east side of the bay, overlooking the village, the heiau and the bay.

Between 1778 and 1810, he is said to have held ceremonies at this heiau. During the late 18th century, Maui high chief Kahekili, a rival of Kamehameha, also used to visit here.

One of Kahekili’s many legendary feats was performed through the ancient Hawaiian sport of lele kawa (to leap feet first from a cliff into water without splashing.)

Northwest of the heiau there is a natural stone wall running along the sea cliff.  Near the cliff's edge, there is a break in the wall (called Kahekili’s Leap) and a steep 80-foot drop.

Kahekili was a formidable competitor and reportedly demanded his warriors follow his lead and ordered them to dive into the sea below to prove their courage.

The image shows the rest area at Kaunolū Village.  In addition, I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Royal Hawaiian Hotel - Waikīkī

The first Royal Hawaiian Hotel was not in Waikīkī.  It was in downtown Honolulu where the "One Capitol District" building now stands.  By the 1900s, the Royal Hawaiian lost its guests to the newer Alexander Young hotel a few blocks away.

The downtown Royal Hawaiian was converted to a YMCA building in 1917.  The building was demolished in 1926, and a new YMCA in a similar style was built in its place.

For centuries, Helumoa in Waikīkī was the home to Hawaiʻi's royalty.  Portions of this area would eventually become the home to the new Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

In the 1890s, the property was leased as a seaside annex to the downtown Royal Hawaiian Hotel located at Richards and Hotel streets.

In 1907, the Seaside Hotel opened on the property, and was later acquired by Alexander Young's Territorial Hotel Company, which operated the Alexander Young hotel in downtown Honolulu.

In 1924, the Seaside Hotel's lease of the land at Helumoa was soon to expire and the land's owners (Bishop Estate) put out a request for proposals to build a hotel.

This was the time before flight; Matson Navigation Co. had luxury ocean liners bringing wealthy tourists to Hawaii - but, they needed a hotel equally lavish to accommodate their passengers at Waikīkī (at that time, the 650 passengers arriving in Honolulu every two weeks were typically staying at Hawaiʻi’s two largest hotels, the Alexander Hotel and the Moana.)

The availability of the Waikīkī land began putting wheels into motion.  A new hotel was planned and conceived as a luxurious resort for Matson passengers, the brainchild of Ed Tenney (who headed the “big five” firm of Castle and Cooke and Matson Navigation) and Matson manager William Roth (son-in-law to William Matson founder of Matson Navigation.)

Castle & Cooke, Matson Navigation and the Territorial Hotel Company successfully proposed a plan to build a luxury hotel, The Royal Hawaiian, with 400 rooms on the 15-acre parcel of Waikiki beach to be leased from Bishop Estate.

The ground-breaking ceremony took place on July 26, 1925.  However, the official building permits were delayed while city officials changed the building code to allow increased building heights.  After $4 million and 18 months, the resort was completed.

On February 1, 1927, the Royal Hawaiian (nicknamed The Pink Palace) was officially opened with the gala event of the decade.  Over 1200 guest were invited for the celebration that started at 6:30 pm and lasted until 2 am.

Duke Kahanamoku, the legendary Olympic swimmer and surfer, frequented the Royal Hawaiian Hotel restaurants and private beachfront. The Royal Hawaiian Hotel became a favorite stomping ground for Kahanamoku's famed group, dubbed the "Waikiki Beach Boys".

Over the following decades, the Royal Hawaiian was THE place to stay and the Pink Palace hosted world celebrities, financiers, heads of state and the elite from around the world.

World War II, with its associated martial law and blackout measures, meant significant changes at the Royal Hawaiian.  In January of 1942, the U.S. Navy signed a lease with the Royal Hawaiian to use the facilities as a rest and relaxation center for officers and enlisted personnel serving in the Pacific.

During the war, over 200,000 men stayed at the Royal Hawaiian. Each day as many as 5,500 service-related visitors (most of who were not staying at the hotel) passed through the front gates to enjoy the beach or social activities.

At the conclusion of World War II, the hotel was given a makeover to restore her to the level of luxury her guests would expect.

ITT Sheraton purchased The Royal Hawaiian from Matson in June 1959.  The Royal Tower Wing was added to the existing structure in 1969.  The resort was sold in 1974 to Kyo-ya Company, Ltd., with Starwood Hotels & Resorts operating it under a long-term management contract.

In 2008, the Royal Hawaiian again underwent significant renovation (to the tune of $85-million) and held its official grand reopening on March 7, 2009.  The Tower section was renovated yet again in November 2010 and reopened as The Royal Beach Tower with upgraded rooms.

Why the color pink?  Bob Krauss once reported that the Royal Hawaiian's pink color is due to the typically pink-painted homes in Lisbon, Portugal.

Friends of William Roth (Kimo and Sarah Wilder) had visited Lisbon and upon returning repainted their home pink with blue-green shutters.  Roth commented, "I love what you've done to your house. Can I paint my hotel the same color?"

The image shows the Royal Hawaiian; in addition, I have included other old and new images of the hotel in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Glass Balls

I suspect many people would believe the occasional glass fishing float found on our shores is strictly a Japanese and Pacific Ocean phenomenon.

Actually, the first glass fishing floats probably came from Norway and were used in the Atlantic.  From 1762 to 1880, a Norwegian glass company was in business and it is believed they were producing glass floats as early as the late-1700s.

The first time these “modern” glass fishing floats are mentioned is in the production registry for Hadelands Glassverk in 1841. The registry shows that this is a new type of production.

However, there might have been some other versions of glass floats in use before that time. In the early 19th-century, the Schimmelmanns Glassverk (1779–1832) produced dark brown and very thick, bottle glass floats.

Aasnaes Glasvaerk, in business from 1813 to 1883, produced 122,493 glass floats just in the year 1875. A glass float with Aasnaes’s mark on the seal button is a collector’s item.

Early evidence of glass floats being used by fishermen comes from Norway in 1844, where small egg-sized floats were used with fishing line and hooks. Around the same time, glass was also used to support fishing nets.

The Japanese started producing small glass floats in the early-1900s and the first Asian floats came ashore along the West Coast just before 1920.

These Japanese floats are part of early recycling efforts – initial Japanese floats we made from recycled sake bottles.  Most floats are shades of green because that is the color of glass from these sake bottles (especially after long exposure to sunlight).

Other brilliant tones such as emerald green, cobalt blue, purple, yellow and orange were primarily made in the 1920s and 1930s. The most prized and rare color is a red or cranberry hue.

To accommodate different fishing styles and nets, the Japanese experimented with many different sizes and shapes of floats, ranging from 2 to 20 inches in diameter. Most were rough spheres, but some were cylindrical or “rolling pin” shaped.

Asahara Glass Company had several factories and made a variety of sizes.  Asahara made baseball- to orange-size floats for tako jigs, salmon gillnetting and seine fishing; grapefruit-size floats for seine and long-line cod fishing; basketball-size for tuna operations, bottom trawls and crab trapping; and the small rolling pin floats were used for tako jigs and troll fishing.

The earliest floats, including most Japanese glass fishing floats, were hand made by a glassblower. Recycled glass, especially old sake bottles, was typically used and air bubbles in the glass are a result of the rapid recycling process.

After being blown, floats were removed from the blowpipe and sealed with a “button” of melted glass before being placed in a cooling oven. This sealing button is sometimes mistakenly identified as a pontil mark (scar where the punt was broken from a work of blown glass.) However, no pontil (or punty) was used in the process of blowing glass floats.

While floats were still hot and soft, marks were often embossed on or near the sealing button to identify the float for trademark. These marks sometimes included kanji symbols.

A later manufacturing method used wooden molds to speed up the float-making process. Glass floats were blown into a mold to more easily achieve a uniform size and shape.

Seams on the outside of floats are a result of this process. Sometimes knife markings where the wooden molds were carved are also visible on the surface of the glass.

By 1939, millions of Japanese glass floats were being used; although Japanese glass fishing floats are no longer being manufactured for fishing, there are thousands still floating in the Pacific Ocean.

By the 1940s, glass had replaced wood or cork throughout much of Europe, Russia, North America and Japan.

Today most of the glass floats remaining in the ocean are stuck in a circular pattern of ocean currents in the North Pacific Gyre.

Off the east coast of Taiwan, the Kuroshio Current starts as a northern branch of the western-flowing North Equatorial Current.  It flows past Japan and meets the arctic waters of the Oyashio Current.

At this junction, the North Pacific Current (or Drift) is formed which travels east across the Pacific before slowing down in the Gulf of Alaska.

As it turns south, the California Current pushes the water into the North Equatorial Current once again, and the cycle continues.

Although the number of glass floats is decreasing steadily, many floats are still drifting on these ocean currents. Occasionally, storms or certain tidal conditions will break some floats from this circular pattern and bring them to ashore.

They most often end up on the beaches of Hawaiʻi, Alaska, Washington or Oregon in the United States, Taiwan or Canada.

Today, most of the remaining glass floats originated in Japan because it had a large deep sea fishing industry which made extensive use of the floats; some were made by Taiwan, Korea and China.

The image shows the mark of an Aasnaes Glasvaerk glass ball made in 1883.  In addition, I have included other images of glass fishing floats from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Washington Place

Captain John Dominis was an Italian-American ship captain and merchant from New York who had been trading in the Pacific since the 1820s.

In the 1840s, he purchased property on Beretania Street.  There, he started to build a home for his family, Mary Lambert Dominis (his wife) and John Owen Dominis (his son.)

The original central portion, built in 1844-1847, was designed and executed in Greek Revival Style, with supplies ordered from Boston.

Captain Dominis reportedly embarked on several trading voyages while the house was being built, using the profits to pay off accumulated debts and resume operations (it's not clear how many trips were required to build the new home.)

It is a two-story structure with partial basement. Various additions and alterations have occurred over the years.  Cellar walls and foundations are of coral stone; Walls are coral stone (approximately 2½-feet thick) faced with cement to simulate stone work.  The second floor is wood frame.

In 1847, on a voyage to the China Sea, Captain Dominis was lost at sea.

The grounds were said to have been planted "by Mrs. Captain Dominis as the first private garden in Honolulu, carefully watered until the yard was a handsome, cool retreat." By 1848 the garden was sufficiently interesting for a visitor to ask for a list of the plants in the yard.

Mary Dominis then rented out the spare bedroom to American Commissioner Anthony Ten Eyck.  Impressed with the white manor and grand columns out front, Ten Eyck said it reminded him of Mount Vernon, George Washington's mansion and that it should be named "Washington Place."  He wrote a letter to RC Wyllie stating such.

King Kamehameha III, who concurred, Proclaimed as ‘Official Notice,’ “It has pleased His Majesty the King to approve of the name of Washington Place given this day by the Commissioner of the United States, to the House and Premises of Mrs. Dominis and to command that they retain that name in all time coming.”  (February 22, 1848)

In 1862, John Owen Dominis married Lydia Kamakaʻeha (also known as Lydia Kamakaʻeha Pākī.)  Lydia Dominis described Washington Place "as comfortable in its appointments as it is inviting in its aspect."

Mary Dominis died on April 25, 1889, and the premises went to her son, John Owen Dominis, Governor of Oʻahu.

Lydia was eventually titled Princess and later Queen Liliʻuokalani, in 1891.  John Owen died shortly after becoming Prince consort (making Liliʻuokalani the second widow of the mansion.)  Title then passed to Queen Liliʻuokalani.

Liliʻuokalani continued to occupy Washington Place until her death on November 11, 1917.

Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole, one of the heirs to the estate of Queen Liliʻuokalani, suggested that the Territory acquire Washington Place as the Executive Mansion. The Legislature appropriated funds for the purchase, and in May, 1921, the property was acquired by the Territory.

In 1922, major additions were made. These included the glassed-in lanai, the porte-cochere and the rear one-story wing with Dining Room and Kitchen. Family bedrooms were added to the second-story of this wing, later.

Washington Place became the official home of the Governor of Hawaiʻi when it was formally opened on April 21, 1922, by Governor Wallace Rider Farrington.

In 1954, the large Covered Terrace was constructed and in 1959, the second-story TV room was built above the glassed-in lanai. An elevator and the metal fire escape were added in 1963.

The Beretania Street and Miller Street sides and a portion of the rear line are enclosed with a wrought iron fence set on a concrete base.

The original tract, as owned by the Dominis family and Queen Liliʻuokalani, comprised about 1.46 acres. The Territory of Hawaiʻi acquired additional property on Miller Street, making a total of about 3.1 acres.

Across the street from the State Capitol on Beretania Street, Washington Place was the executive mansion for the territorial governors from 1918 to 1959, and, after Hawaiʻi became the 50th state, the state governor's mansion, from 1959 to 2002.

Washington Place remains the official residence of the governor however, a new house, built on the property in 2002, is now the personal residence of the Governor of Hawai‘i.  (governor-hawaii-gov)

The image shows Queen Liliʻuokalani outside Washington Place in 1893.  In addition, I have added other images of Washington Place in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Battle of Hōkūʻula

Prominent features rising above the town of Waimea on the Big Island are the puʻu (cinder cones) in the surrounding pasture.  The South Kohala community made special note of these physical features in the Community Development Plan noting, “the Puʻu define the special landscape ‘sense of place’ of Waimea.”

One of these, Hōkūʻula (red star,) played a prominent role in battles between warring leadership from the islands of Maui and Hawaiʻi.  This story dates back to about the mid-1600s.

To put this timeframe in global perspective, around this time: the Ming Dynasty in China ended and the Manchus came into power and established the Qing dynasty; the Taj Mahal was completed in India: British restored the monarchy and Charles II was crowned king of England; and the Massachusetts Bay colony was forming after the recent landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock.

In the islands, Lonoikamakahiki (Lono) was the Mōʻi (Chief) of Hawai‘i.  He was a descendant of Pili (a high chief from Tahiti from the 13th century.  Lono was grandson of ʻUmi (and great grandson of Līloa.))

“Lono-i-ka-makahiki was a son of Keawe-nui-a-Umi, and was chief of Ka-u and Puna. He was sole ruler over those two districts on Hawaii. He was married to a chiefess, named Ka-iki-lani-kohe-paniʻo, who was descended from Laea-nui-kau-manamana. To them were born sons, Keawe-Hanau-i-ka-walu and Ka-ʻihi-kapu-mahana.”   (Kamakau)

Through marriage and victories over other chiefs, Lonoikamakahiki became the ruler of the Island of Hawaiʻi.  “During Lono’s reign, when he tended to the affairs of his kingdom, the chiefs and commoners lived in peace.”  (Kamakau)

Lono visited the Mōʻi of the various islands, including Kamalālāwalu, ruling chief of Maui.  “Lono-i-ka-makahiki sought the good will of these chiefs when he came to meet and associate with them in a friendly manner. There were to be no wars between one chief and another.”  (Kamakau)

Kamalālāwalu (Kama) met him and welcomed him royally.  The chiefly host and guest spent much time in surfing, a sport that was enjoyed by all.  Lono was lavishly entertained by Kamalālāwalu.

Not long after Lono’s departure and return to Hawai‘i, however, Kamalālāwalu, driven by ambition, decided to invade and conquer the nation of Island of Hawai‘i.  He sent spies to survey the opposition; they reported there were few men in the Kohala region.

When Kamalālāwalu heard the report of his spies, he was eager to stir his warriors to make war on Hawaiʻi.  Most of the prophets and seers supported the chief's desire and gave dogs as their omen of victory [said that clouds taking the form of dogs foretold victory]. The dogs were a sign of fierceness, and so would the chief fiercely attack the enemy and gain the victory with great slaughter of the foe.

Part of the prophets and seers came to the chief with prophecies denying his victory, and urging him not to go to fight against Hawaiʻi.  When Lanikāula, a high priest from Moloka‘i, warned Kamalālāwalu of the dangers of an assault, an irate Kamalālāwalu replied "when I return, I will burn you alive." (Fornander)

Kamalālāwalu’s fleet landed in Puakō and met no opposition. Lono’s oldest brother, Kanaloakuaʻana, was in residence Waimea at the time, and, upon hearing of the invasion, marched toward Puakō with what forces he had at hand. A battle ensued at Kauna‘oa (near the present-day Mauna Kea Resort), and Kanaloakuaʻana’s forces were defeated, with Kanaloakuaʻana himself being taken prisoner and eventually killed.

After this initial success, Kamalālāwalu and his Maui warriors marched boldly inland and took up a position above Waimea on top of the puʻu called Hōkūʻula and awaited Lono’s forces.

During the night, Lono’s warriors from Kona arrived and occupied a position near Puʻupā (the large cinder cone makai of the Waimea-Kohala Airport.) His warriors from Kaʻū (led by its high chief and Lono’s half-brother, Pupuakea) and Puna were stationed from the pu‘u called Holoholoku (the large cinder cone out in the plains below Mauna Kea,) those from Hilo and Hāmākua were stationed near Mahiki, and those from Kohala were stationed on the slopes of Momoualoa.

That morning, from his position atop Hōkūʻula, Kamalālāwalu could see that the lowlands were literally covered with the countless warriors of Lono, and realized that he was outnumbered. For three days the armies skirmished, with the actions of the Maui warriors being dominated by Kamalālāwalu’s nephew and chief, Makakuikalani.

“Short and long spears were flung, and death took its toll on both sides. The Maui men who were used to slinging shiny, water-worn stones grabbed up the stones of Puʻoaʻoaka. A cloud of dust rose to the sky and twisted about like smoke, but the lava rocks were light, and few of the Hawaii men were killed by them.”  (Kamakau)

“The warriors of Maui were put to flight, and the retreat to Kawaihae was long. [Yet] there were many who did reach Kawaihae, but because of a lack of canoes, only a few escaped with their lives. Most of the chiefs and warriors from Maui were destroyed.”  (Kamakau)

While Kamakau notes Kamalālāwalu died on the grassy plain of Puakō, other tradition suggests that after Lonoikamakahiki defeated Kamalālāwalu at Hōkūʻula, he brought the vanquished king of Maui to Keʻekū Heiau in Kahaluʻu and offered him as a sacrifice.

The spirits of Kamalālāwalu’s grieving dogs, Kauakahiʻokaʻoka (a white dog) and Kapapako (a black dog,) are said to continue to guard this site.  Outside the entrance to the heiau and towards the southwest are a number of petroglyphs on the pāhoehoe.  One of them is said to represent Kamalālāwalu.

So ended the first of the major wars between the nations of Maui and Hawai‘i, and a turning point in the history of Hawai‘i.

(Puʻu Hōkūʻula is sometimes referred as “”Buster Brown.”  Apparently, while training at Camp Tarawa in Waimea, Marines named it Buster Brown Hill after the former section manager for Parker Ranch, who lived just below the hill.)

The image shows Puʻu Hōkūʻula; in addition, I have added other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Honolulu’s First Mayor - Joseph James Fern

The Organic Act (enacted April 30, 1900) established the territorial status of the Islands; with it, the legislature was authorized to create towns, cities and counties within the Territory.

In 1905, the Territorial Legislature passed “The County Act” (Act 39) which formed the basis of modern local government in Hawaiʻi. It established five counties: Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Maui, Hawai‘i and Kalawao.

Hawai‘i’s 5th County (encompassing the Kalaupapa Peninsula and surrounding land) remains under the jurisdiction of the state's Health Department; the other four counties were governed by elected Boards of Supervisors.

Contrary to the suggestion in the name of the enabling “County Act,” State government retained many traditional county government functions and over the next many decades took on even more, making Hawai‘i the most centralized state government.

The state continued to administer the court system, public health, welfare, correctional and school systems in addition to all harbors, airports and major highways.

The County of Oʻahu began operating on July 1, 1905, and two years later was renamed the City and County of Honolulu; it was governed by a Board of Supervisors.  Later, a mayor was added to the Board of Supervisors.

Honolulu's first campaign for Mayor had two principal candidates: John Carey Lane, Republican; and James Joseph Fern, Democrat.

On January 4, 1909, in the McIntyre building at Fort and King Streets, the City and County of Honolulu inaugurated its new municipal government and its first Mayor, Joseph "Joe" James Fern (who had won the election by just seven votes (Lane did not want a recount.))

Joseph Fern was born in Kohala on the Big Island in 1872, to James and Kaipo Fern, a Hawaiian family of modest means.

His schooling was rudimentary, and he was commonly referred to as being self-taught.  At the age of twelve he went to work for the Union Mill Plantation of Kohala, driving a bullock cart loaded with fire wood from the forests on the upper slopes down to the mill.

He left the Big Island in 1892 and headed to Honolulu.  In the city, his first job was as a mule-car driver for the Hawaiian Tramways.  He eventually worked as shipping master for the Inter Island Steamship Company.

Fern was thrice-married, his first bride, Julia Natua, presenting him with two children, Julia and James, before her death, and his second wife, Sheba Alapai, giving birth to twelve, Joseph Jr., Mary K., Nancy, George, Kaipo, Elizabeth, Marion, Mary, Keo, Santa Clara, Henry and Esta. Sheba died in April 1910. His third wife, Emma Silva, married Fern in August 1910 in Honolulu, when he was already mayor of the city, they had one child, Victoria.  (Johnson)

In 1907, Joe Fern was elected to the Board of Supervisors of the County of Oʻahu as a Democrat, one of a minority of three on the seven-man board.

Warm-hearted, welcoming, with a sense of humor, Fern brought his personal style to City Hall. He built a city government and proposed acquiring land for parks and playgrounds. A devout Catholic twice widowed, he lived modestly on Alapa‘i Lane and reared fourteen children. (Chapin)

In 1915, he lost a reelection bid against John Lane.  That year, for the first time, Honolulu's budget passed the million-dollar mark, the increase reflecting a general growth in property valuations in the city.

After leaving office, Fern was appointed City Jailer. When Lane tried to run for reelection, Fern challenged his successor again and won by 300 votes; he retook the Mayor's office on July 2, 1917.

Fern died February 20, 1920 from complications with diabetes, while still in office.

Evidence of his popularity among the people he served, Fern was granted a state funeral and was laid in the throne room of ʻIolani Palace. During the burial rites at the Catholic Cemetery, the United States Army Air Corps presented a fly-over ceremony in a V-formation.  Fern Elementary School and Playground are named in his honor.

The newspaper, often vehemently opposed to Fern, wrote the following: "Mr. Fern stood in the relation of a father to his people. He was one of the old school of Hawaiians, open handed, sympathetic and always ready to help his people. Daily there was a stream of Hawaiian poor crowding his waiting room and corning to him for assistance in family rows, for legal advice or a loan or to straighten out trouble with their children."

"While the supervisors at times fought him tooth and nail and criticized him in no uncertain terms in open meeting, he nevertheless had the respect of all of them. He is sincerely mourned by the board, by all the city employees and the people of the city generally."  (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, February 21, 1920)

The image shows Joseph Fern, Honolulu's first Mayor (HHS;)  in addition, I have added other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Aliʻiolani Hale

By 1866, the need for a new courthouse government building in the Hawaiian Kingdom was apparent.  The old courthouse, completed in 1852, accommodated not only the judicial needs, but also served as the reception hall for diplomatic ceremonies and official social functions.

The legislature appropriated funds towards a new palace and a new government building. Delays ensued.  Plans for a new palace were postponed, but the new courthouse moved forward.

On February 19, 1872, Kamehameha V laid the cornerstone for the new building.

The use of concrete blocks, a fairly new building material, "infinitely superior for both durability and ornament," was recommended and accepted by Public Works.  (The coral foundation supports concrete block bearing walls varying in thickness from 17" to 22".)

To increase the work force, convicts were brought from the prison and made to labor on the project. In 1874, during the reign of King Kalākaua, the building was finally completed.

Lively events characterized Aliʻiolani Hale’s first year. Already designated as the home of the Legislature, in May of 1874, the Judiciary Department also moved into the new government building.

In July, the Law Library took up residence on the second floor with "3,000 law books and 2,000 scientific books." By September, Aliʻiolani Hale housed the first National Museum in the Hawaiian Kingdom.

An appeal made to the public requested the donation of artifacts: "Old Hawaiian ornaments and utensils, Hawaiian minerals and preserved zoological specimens are particularly desired."

CJ Lyons made scientific use of the building late that year as an observation site for the transit of Venus. The transits of Venus occur only four times in 243 years, and at that time, this astronomical event was the best known means of determining the dimensions of our planetary system.

Aliʻiolani Hale played a role in the Wilcox insurrection. Unhappy with the changes in the constitution of 1887, the young hapa-Hawaiian, Robert Wilcox, and several hundred armed men marched into the neighborhood on the morning of July 30, 1889.

At 6 am, twelve of the men took over Aliʻiolani Hale, and the rest moved into the ʻIolani Palace yard. By noon, volleys of rifle shots were exchanged between Wilcox's men and government forces.

Wilcox's men, stationed in the Palace yard, were surrounded by the government troops whose sharpshooters were placed in nearby buildings, including the tower of Kawaiahaʻo church.

The rebellion came to a halt when government authorities hurled homemade dynamite bombs into the Palace yard scattering the rebellious constituent.

In the small room beneath the clock tower, often used as an artist's studio at Aliʻiolani Hale, a sculptor was working on a bust of Kalākaua. He reported, on that day, that stray bullets created "a disturbing background" for his artistic endeavor.

Seeking to abolish the Hawaiian Monarchy, the Committee of Public Safety took over Aliʻiolani Hale on January 17, 1893. Here, was the reading of the declaration of the Provisional Government of the Hawaiian Islands during the Revolution of 1893.

The Honolulu Rifles, a volunteer group of men who supported the Committee of Safety, assembled there in opposition to the loyalist guard stationed across King Street at the Palace.  With horse blankets and boxes of hard tack, the Honolulu Rifles camped in the halls of Aliʻiolani Hale.

Queen Liliʻuokalani, in order to avoid violence, abrogated the monarchy and the troops did not engage in armed conflict. After the establishment of the Republic of Hawaiʻi, most likely to disassociate the new government with the monarchy, the new officials renamed Aliʻiolani Hale, "The Judiciary Building." The legislature then moved to ʻIolani Palace which was renamed the "Executive Building."

Hawaiʻi almost lost Aliʻiolani Hale in 1937 when the territorial planning board drafted plans to demolish the structure and build a new Judiciary Building. Former Chief Justice and Governor Walter Frear strongly opposed the idea, and the Honolulu Advertiser picked up the torch in support of Frear announcing that "The Old Judiciary Building is threatened by the march of progress."

Instead of demolition, repairs and plans for a new wing were approved. Construction began in March of 1941, but was considerably hampered by the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December. The new wing was finally completed in 1944, the same year that Martial law was lifted. In 1949, a second story was added to the new wing to complete the structure that stands today as Aliʻiolani Hale.

By 1951, the building, even with the new wing, was overcrowded and not providing adequate space for the needs of a growing Judiciary. In 1960, it was recommended that a new court building be constructed and that Aliʻiolani Hale retain the Supreme Court, the Land Court, the Administrative Offices, and the Law Library.

In 1965, the interior of the building was refurbished at a cost exceeding the total expenditures for the building in 1874.

Today, Aliʻiolani Hale houses the Supreme Court of Hawaiʻi, the court administration offices, a law library and the Judiciary History Center.

While decisions are made affecting the present and future of Hawaiʻi by the Supreme Court, the Judiciary History Center interprets over 200 years of law and judicial history in the Hawaiian Islands.

From Monarchy to statehood, Aliʻiolani Hale has faithfully served the people of Hawaiʻi. Kings and queens have walked its halls. Revolutions have been lost and won around it. Sensational cases have been tried in its courtrooms. Since 1874, Supreme Court rulings affecting the future of Hawaiʻi and its people have been decided within its walls.

Open to the general public, the History Center reflects the unique legal and judicial history of our islands from the days of kapu to the present.

The inspiration and information here is from the Judiciary History Center (as well as the National Register.)  The image shows Aliʻiolani Hale in 1875 (before the Kamehameha Statue.)  In addition, I have included other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Royal Guard

Prior to becoming a US territory, Hawaiʻi’s modern army consisted of a royal household guard and militia units.

By the 1860s, the Hawaiian military had been reduced to the Royal Guard, a unit assigned to guard the sovereign.  They were also known as the Household Guard, Household Troops, Queen’s Guard, King’s Own and Queen’s Own - they guarded the king and queen and the treasury and participated in state occasions.

The organization was quartered in ʻIolani Barracks (Halekoa.) (Built in 1871 (before the Palace,) the Barracks was located on a site now occupied by the State Capitol behind ʻIolani Palace across Hotel Street, formerly Palace Walk.  In 1965, the coral block building was dismantled piece-by-piece and reassembled on the Palace grounds.)

The Guard was an elite group of 60-men from which the King's body guards were drawn, with a heritage which extended far back into Hawaiʻi's history.

In 1873, King Lunalilo became ill and was convalescing and regaining temporarily part of his lost strength at Waikīkī.  At that time, the Guards mutinied – not against the King, but rather, unanimously against their drill master Captain Joseph Jajczay, a Hungarian.

Shortly after, at the request of the king, a delegation of three of the mutineers went out to see him at Waikīkī; he told them they must submit to orders and trust to his clemency.  The mutineers obeyed his order to stack arms, but they stayed in the barracks, instead of going to their homes as they were expected to do.

While some reports suggest the mutiny was triggered because the drill-master was very strict and planned to punish some of the men for a breach of duty, other reports suggest otherwise.

One report noted, “During the reign of Lunalilo a mutiny occurred among the Household Guard which was then occupying the old stone barracks now used by the United States Army Quarter Masters Department. The men mutinied over the kind of poi being issued to them as rations and defied the authority of the king to make them obey orders until new poi was given them.”   (The Independent, March 13, 1902)

“Two companies of volunteers, the Honolulu Rifles and the Hawaiian Calvary, some forth men in all, were called out but were given nothing to do beyond serving as a rather ineffectual guard for parts of two days.”  (Kuykendall)

After further negotiation, the mutineers obeyed the king's order. Lunalilo then issued a decree disbanding the Household Troops and the kingdom was thus left without any regular organized military force.

But Lunalilo died a year later, and the newly-elected king, Kalākaua, restored the army, and named it the Household Guard.  (It was reported Kalākaua sympathized and sided with the mutineers and advised and instigated them.)

In 1893, the Provisional government disbanded the guards and used the Barracks for munitions storage.

It is unclear how many soldiers made up the Hawaiian army.  Some suggest the 60 Household Guards was the total strength.

Kuykendall put the Hawaiian army at 272; this is consistent with the Blount report that noted an affidavit by Nowlein, commander of the palace troops that put its strength at 272 (with an additional local police force of 224.)

The memory and legacy of the Royal Guard lives on through two venues.  In 1916, the US Army’s 32nd Regiment was first organized on Oʻahu.  At its activation, it was known as "The Queen's Own" Regiment, a title bestowed by the last queen of Hawaiʻi, Liliʻuokalani.

In addition, the Royal Guard of the Hawaiʻi National Guard is an Air National Guard ceremonial unit which re-enacts the royal bodyguards of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi.

The unit, created in 1962, is made up of Hawaiian resident Hawaii Air National Guardsmen, who are either full Hawaiian or part-Hawaiian ancestry. The current unit is ceremonial unit only and serves the Governor for official State functions and other public functions.

The unit is structured in the same way as the original organization. The governing body, or "Na Koa Hoomalu Kini O Ka Moi" (King's Body Guards), is composed of five men elected by the general membership. The five men, in turn, select the "Kapena Moku" (Commander of Troops).

The impact of the re-creation of the Royal Guard on the community was best described by Hawaiʻi's Governor, John A. Burns when he said, "The traditions of the past are, to me, means by which we gain strength to meet the trials of the present and the future."  (ngef-org)

The image shows the Royal Guard outside their barracks.  In addition, I have posted other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Threes and Eights

No, it's not a typo (I don't mean black Aces and Eights, Wild Bill Hickock’s “dead man's hand”;) this relates to Noah Webster, Henry ʻŌpūkahaʻia, and Hawaiian grammar and spelling.

How in the world are these in common? … Let's look.

Noah Webster (1758-1843) was the man of words in early 19th-century America. He compiled a dictionary which became the standard for American English; he also compiled The American Spelling Book, which was the basic textbook for young readers in early 19th-century America.

ʻŌpūkahaʻia, in 1809, boarded a sailing ship anchored in Kealakekua Bay and sailed to the continent.  ʻŌpūkahaʻia latched upon the Christian religion, converted to Christianity in 1815 and studied at the Foreign Mission School in Cornwall, Connecticut (founded in 1817) - he wanted to become a missionary and teach the Christian faith to people back home in Hawaiʻi.

A story of his life was written (“Memoirs of Henry Obookiah” (the spelling of his name prior to establishment of the formal Hawaiian alphabet, based on its sound.))  This book was put together by Edwin Dwight (after ʻŌpūkahaʻia died.)  It was an edited collection of ʻŌpūkahaʻia’s letters and journals/diaries.

This book inspired the New England missionaries to volunteer to carry his message to the Sandwich Islands.  

On October 23, 1819, the pioneer Company of missionaries from the northeast United States, set sail on the Thaddeus for the Sandwich Islands (now known as Hawai‘i) - they first landed at Kailua-Kona on April 4, 1820.  (Unfortunately, ʻŌpūkahaʻia died suddenly (of typhus fever on February 17, 1818) and never made it back to Hawaiʻi.)

OK, so what about the 3s and 8s - and Hawaiian grammar and spelling?

It turns out that a manuscript was found among Queen Emma's private papers (titled, "A Short Elementary Grammar of the Owhihe Language;") a note written on the manuscript said, "Believed to be Obookiah's grammar".

Some believe this manuscript is the first grammar book on the Hawaiian language. However, when reading the document, many of the words are not recognizable.  Here's a sampling of a few of the words: 3-o-le; k3-n3-k3; l8-n3 and; 8-8-k8.

No these aren't typos, either.  ... Let's look a little closer.

In his journal, ʻŌpūkahaʻia first mentions grammar in his account of the summer of 1813: "A part of the time [I] was trying to translate a few verses of the Scriptures into my own language, and in making a kind of spelling-book, taking the English alphabet and giving different names and different sounds. I spent time in making a kind of spelling-book, dictionary, grammar."  (Schutz)

So, where does Noah Webster fit into this picture?

As initially noted, Webster’s works were the standard for American English.  References to his "Spelling" book appear in the accounts by folks at the New England mission school.

As you know, English letters have different sounds for the same letter.  For instance, the letter "a" has a different sound when used in words like: late, hall and father.

Noah Webster devised a method to help differentiate between the sounds and assigned numbers to various letter sounds - and used these in his Speller.  (Webster did not substitute the numbers corresponding to a letter's sound into words in his spelling or dictionary book; it was used as an explanation of the difference in the sounds of letters.)

The following is a chart for some of the letters related to the numbers assigned, depending on the sound they represent.

Long Vowels in English (Webster)
late,  ask,  hall,  here,  sight,  note,  move,  truth

Using ʻŌpūkahaʻia’s odd-looking words mentioned above, we can decipher what they represent by substituting the code and pronounce the words accordingly (for the "3," substitute with "a"(that sounds like "hall") and replace the "8" with "u," (that sounds like "truth") - so, 3-o-le transforms to ʻaʻole (no;) k3-n3-k3 transforms to kanaka (man;); l8-n3 transforms to luna (upper) and 8-8-k8 transforms to ʻuʻuku (small.)

It seems Henry ʻŌpūkahaʻia used Webster's Speller in his writings and substituted the numbers assigned to the various sounds and incorporated them into the words of his grammar book (essentially putting the corresponding number into the spelling of the word.)

"Once we know how the vowel letters and numbers were used, ʻŌpūkahaʻia's short grammar becomes more than just a curiosity; it is a serious work that is probably the first example of the Hawaiian language recorded in a systematic way. Its alphabet is a good deal more consistent than those used by any of the explorers who attempted to record Hawaiian words." (Schutz)

"It might be said that the first formal writing system for the Hawaiian language, meaning alphabet, spelling rules and grammar, was created in Connecticut by a Hawaiian named Henry ʻŌpūkahaʻia.  He began work as early as 1814 and left much unfinished at his death in 1818." (Rumford)

"His work served as the basis for the foreign language materials prepared by American and Hawaiian students at the Foreign Mission School in Cornwall, Connecticut, in the months prior to the departure of the first company of missionaries to Hawai'i in October 1819."  (Rumford)

It is believed ʻŌpūkahaʻia classmates (and future missionaries,) Samuel Ruggles and James Ely, after ʻŌpūkahaʻia’s death, went over his papers and began to prepare material on the Hawaiian language to be taken to Hawaiʻi and used in missionary work (the work was written by Ruggles and assembled into a book – by Herman Daggett, principal of the Foreign Mission School – and credit for the work goes to ʻŌpūkahaʻia.)

Lots of information here from Rumford (Hawaiian Historical Society) and Schutz (Honolulu and The Voices of Eden: A History of Hawaiian Language Studies.)

The image shows a page from ʻŌpūkahaʻia’s Grammar Book.   In addition, I have included other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

I encourage you to review the images in the folder; I had the opportunity to review and photograph the several pages of ʻŌpūkahaʻia’s grammar book. (Special thanks to the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives and the Hawaiian Historical Society.)

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Building Tells Stories About Buildings

This story is one of the unhappy stories I had while at DLNR.  We were dealing with the last of its kind - so losing it had a different, and more permanent, meaning.  I hope telling the story will help keep the memory alive.

This is not only of personal concern, at the time I was also the State Historic Preservation Officer.

Anyway, on December 27, 1850, the Honolulu Fire Department was established, by signature of King Kamehameha III, and was the first of its kind in the Hawaiian Islands, and the only Fire Department in the United States established by a ruling monarch.

Back in those early days, firefighting equipment was primarily buckets and portable water supplies.  As the department grew, several hand-drawn engine companies were added.

In 1870, the tallest structure in Honolulu was the bell tower of Central Fire Station, then-located on Union Street.  Spotters would sit in the tower, ready to sound the alarm.  Central Fire Station was later relocated to its present site at Beretania and Fort Streets.

Until 1901, most business buildings in downtown were 2-3 floors, that year the 6-floor Stangenwald Building was completed; it remained the tallest building until 1950, when the seven-story Edgewater Hotel in Waikīkī took over that title.

So, for a very long time, firefighting in Honolulu was handled pretty close to the ground, with buildings essentially accessible via hand-raised ladders.

Also, back then, with all the buildings relatively similar in scale, spotting was easy from the towers adjoining the stations and firefighting equipment was pretty consistent to deal with the similar building heights.

The old Kakaʻako Fire Station was occupied on October 1, 1929, by Engine Company Number 9.  In 1930, a hook and ladder building was constructed.  It housed a ladder truck for 20 years.

It housed the equipment that transported ladders to the downtown fires.  Its size and shape showed the scale of Honolulu’s buildings.

The lengths of the ladders on the ladder trucks were tall enough to effectively fight downtown structure fires.  Taller ladders were not needed, because Honolulu, then, did not have taller structures.

And that's the point of this story.

When the Fire Department was going through its consultation with DLNR's Historic Preservation Division, I got involved in the discussions when I heard they wanted to get rid of the ladder building.

It was the last of its kind (all other ladder buildings (typically attached to the various fire stations) had been removed from the other older fire stations.)  Kakaʻako had the last one.

I suspect some may wonder what the big deal was - that's the position the Fire Department took.  What is so important about a rotting wood attachment to an historic Fire Station? (The Kakaʻako Station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.)

And, with a brand spanking new Administration building going up next door, this old building was an eyesore and in the way.

We had a meeting with the top brass from the Fire Department – the Chief and his Assistant Chiefs.

I tried to convince them that simply looking at the ladder building (that they wanted to remove) helped tell the story of what Downtown Honolulu used to look like (especially in the present context of predominantly high-rise and relatively few low-rise structures.)

That building helped tell the story of the other buildings in the area and the look of Honolulu at the time.

Well, after several discussions (several of them not pleasant,) we compromised on retaining the facades of the front and rear of the ladder building, with trellising forming the height of the building (trying to give the sense of scale of the ladder building) and tiles on the ground noting the perimeter walls.

Unfortunately, during the course of construction, we were belated-told that the facades could not be saved and there was nothing anyone could do about that.

I've been back to the Station and was happy to see the tiled outline of the old ladder building in the connecting walkway between the Old Kakaʻako Station and the Administration building.

It's difficult to image that Honolulu was once a low-rise central business district - and was that way for such a long time.  Fortunately, we have some representation of what it looked like, told through the tiles on the ground.

The image shows the tiled outline of the former ladder building at the Kakaʻako Fire Station.    In addition, I have included other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Hudson’s Bay Company

Within ten years after Captain Cook’s 1778 contact with Hawai‘i, the islands became a favorite port of call in the trade with China.  The fur traders and merchant ships crossing the Pacific needed to replenish food supplies and water.

The maritime fur trade focused on acquiring furs of sea otters, seals and other animals from the Pacific Northwest Coast and Alaska.  The furs were mostly sold in China in exchange for tea, silks, porcelain and other Chinese goods, which were then sold in Europe and the United States.

Needing supplies in their journey, the traders soon realized they could economically barter for provisions in Hawai‘i; for instance any type of iron, a common nail, chisel or knife, could fetch far more fresh fruit meat and water than a large sum of money would in other ports.

A triangular trade network emerged linking the Pacific Northwest coast, China and the Hawaiian Islands to Britain and the United States (especially New England).

After acquiring the “Louisiana Purchase” in 1803, under the directive of President Thomas Jefferson, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, also known as the "Corps of Discovery Expedition" (1804–1806), was the first transcontinental expedition to the Pacific coast undertaken by the United States.

Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) was a fur trading company that started in Canada in 1670; its first century of operation found HBC firmly focused in a few forts and posts around the shores of James and Hudson Bays, Central Canada.

Fast forward 150-years and in 1821, HBC merged with North West Company, its competitor; the resulting enterprise now spanned the continent - all the way to the Pacific Northwest (modern-day Oregon, Washington and British Columbia) and the North (Alaska, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.)

Fur traders working for the HBC traveled an area of more than 700,000 square miles that stretched from Russian Alaska to Mexican California and from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.

Ships sailed from London around Cape Horn around South America and then to forts and posts along the Pacific Coast via the Hawaiian Islands.  Trappers crossing overland faced a journey of 2,000 miles that took three months.

On January 21, 1829 the Hudson's Bay Company schooner ‘Cadboro’ arrived at Honolulu from Fort Vancouver with a small shipment of poles and sawn lumber.

The Company was attracted to Hawaiʻi not for furs but as a potential market for the products of the Company's posts in the Pacific Northwest.  That first trip was intended to test the market for HBC’s primary products, salmon and lumber.

(We can credit HBC with starting the lomi lomi salmon tradition in Hawaiʻi – Click here to see that story.)

Another goal of the trip was to recruit Hawaiians for HBC operations on the Northwest Coast.  As early as 1811, HBC had already hired twelve Hawaiians on three year contracts to work for them in the Pacific Northwest.

By 1824, HBC employed thirty-five Hawaiians west of the Rocky Mountains.  It is estimated that by 1844 between 300 and 400 Hawaiians were in HBC service in the Pacific Northwest, both in vessels and at posts.

(Click here to see the story on Hawaiians at Fort Vancouver.)

When the Hudson's Bay Company entered the Hawaiian market in 1829, Honolulu had already become a significant Pacific port of call and major provisioning station for trans-Pacific travelers.

In addition to the sale of Northwest Coast products, the Company's Honolulu Agency in the 1840s entered into the merchandising of English manufactured goods.

HBC was always considered a leading Honolulu merchant house, but what really distinguished it was its continuity.  In those days Honolulu business firms other than HBC were either sole proprietorships or partnerships, which were easily formed and as readily dissolved.  HBC was stable and strong and based outside of Hawaiʻi.

The Company's Honolulu customers were both the whaling fleet and local businesses, and individuals, including the Hawaiian population - all of whom appreciated the high quality of the products the Company offered for sale.

The Company's role in Honolulu's merchant shipping forms a considerable chapter in Hawaiian maritime history; shipping was the lifeline of the Agency.  Company cargo, with only a few exceptions, was transported in vessels owned or chartered by the Company.

Each year a Company vessel carrying trade goods and supplies was sent from England around Cape Horn to the Northwest Coast, usually stopping at Honolulu.

The earliest location of the HBC in Honolulu was on the north side of Nuʻuanu Street close to King Street, where it occupied a two-story, shingle-sided building.  In 1846 HBC moved to a new site closer and more convenient to the waterfront at the corner of Fort and Queen Streets (the ‘Beaver Block,’ but that’s another story.)

As the year 1859 started, Pacific whaling entered its decline, the Agency's competition in the importation of goods increased. Janion Green and Co. (forerunner of Theo H. Davies), Hackfeld and Co. (forerunner of Amfac,) C. Brewer, and Castle and Cooke (the beginnings of the Big Five) were established firms.

The Honolulu market was overstocked with goods, and trade was slow. In 1859, HBC decided to close its Hawaiʻi operations; a couple years later, they were gone.

The image shows an 1853 drawing of the Hudson’s Bay Company building in Honolulu.    In addition, I have included other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Nu‘alolo Kai, Nā Pali Coast, Kauaʻi

Located on the northwest coast of Kauaʻi, the Nā Pali contains some of the Pacific Islands most spectacular wilderness area.

There was a string of former Hawaiian fishing villages in the seven main valleys on the Nā Pali Coast of Kauaʻi.  These remote communities relied on harvesting the fish from the sea, and growing taro in the fertile soil of the valley floors.

One of these is Nu‘alolo Kai, it’s located in a protected inlet along the Nā Pali Coast.  You can’t get there by land, you must arrive by boat.

And, you need a permit from DLNR to do so.

“The mountains along the shore, for eight or ten miles, are very bold, some rising abruptly from the ocean, exhibiting the obvious effects of volcanic fires; some, a little back, appear like towering pyramids”.  (Hiram Bingham, 1822)

“Here, about mid-way of what the natives call the Parre, we landed, where is an acre or two of sterile ground, bounded on one side by the ocean, and environed on the other by a stupendous rock, nearly perpendicular, forming at its base a semicircular curve, which meets the ocean at each end. In the middle of the curve, a stupendous rock rises to the height, I should say, of about 1500 feet.” (Bingham)

“Like Kalalau they had a trail from the table land above over the top of Kamaile and zigzagging down through the cliffs some 3000 feet to the valley below but even this trail was difficult. At one place you have to jump a crevice only three feet wide but it goes down straight like a chimney and if you slipped you would only fall 800 feet to the rocks below. They call it the Puhi.”  (Knudsen, late-19th-century)

“Here, the natives sometimes exhibit their fire works (ʻŌahi) in the night (from “the fire Parre”,) as they did a few nights since, when the kings lodged there.  Along a winding, difficult ascent, which commences by a rude ladder hanging over the sea, they climb to the very summit, and throw off firebrands, or torches, ingeniously constructed, which sail off a great distance, and fall in the ocean below.” (Bingham)

“The two most famous ʻōahi places on Kauaʻi were Kamaile peak, rising 2500 feet over Nuuololo [Nu‘alolo] landing on the Na Pali Coast, and the high cliffs that tower over the wet caves at Haena.”  (Knudsen)

“Here in Nuʻalolo Kai the fishermen built and kept their canoes and the beach must have been lined with them for the landing is most always safe as the channel is narrow and a big reef to the north protecting it.” (Knudsen)

Bishop Museum archaeological investigations, starting in 1958, noted buried structure floors and artifacts, including fishhooks and coral files, were found as deep as 6 feet below the surface.

Radiocarbon dates later showed that people first began to live at the site between AD 1300 and 1500. The presence of historic artifacts, such as glass beads and metal jewelry, told archaeologists that the site was still inhabited even after Europeans arrived in the Hawaiian Islands.

About 100 people, mostly commoners, lived in Nuʻalolo Kai. They farmed terraced taro fields, collected shellfish, and gathered coral from the fringing reef to shape their bone and shell fishhooks. Reef fish included rudderfish, unicorn tang and parrotfish. Raw and cooked urchins were popular, and urchin gonads were used as a condiment with fish, poi (cooked taro), and sweet potato. (National Geographic)

“Their method of taking the fish from the sea is remarkable. Diving down, they place a vegetable poison among the stones at the bottom, which being greedily eaten by the fish, immediately produces on them an intoxicating effect. The natives then dive or swim after them, and catch them in their hands, or, sitting in canoes, or standing near the shore, take them easily in scoop nets.” (Bingham)

Ceremonies were celebrated with ʻawa, a ritual drink also known as kava, while hula dancers chanted and pulsed to the beat of the drums. Young men hurled firebrands from the cliff of Kamaile. Even King Kamehameha II made a trip to the island to witness the ceremonies. It's still unclear why the site was abandoned, but Hawaiians permanently left Nuʻalolo Kai in 1919 for more populated parts of the island, including Hanalei and Waimea. (National Geographic)

Formed in 1995, Nā Pali Coast ʻOhana is a grassroots non-profit foundation dedicated to the preservation of the natural and cultural resources of the Nāpali Coast State Park, Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi – they are very good partners with DLNR in caring for this place.

The image shows Nuʻalolo Kai (Maurice Major -Wichman) along the Nā Pali Coast. In addition, I have included other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Near Abdication

“In referring to the several journals of the day one is struck with the absence of any account of the occurrence at the time”.  (Thrum)

While local papers appear to have had stories squashed by a “pocket veto” of the King, a couple mainland papers ran short stories on the tragic events and follow-up.

“No legal notice of the event was in any way taken; no person would have been foolhardy enough to propose it. It is not my purpose to defend the right of the king to this execution of summary vengeance, especially as it was done in a moment of anger; yet beyond the sadness of the act, it has a certain bearing on this sketch of my life as one of the descendants from the ruling families of Hawaii.”  (Liliʻuokalani)

"On Sunday, September 11th, 1859, occurred a melancholy and tragical affair at Lahaina, which, as a matter of history, should not be omitted in these recollections.”  (Thrum)

“The first news we received was that the king in a fit of passion had shot and mortally wounded one of the party, his own secretary, Mr. HA Neilson. After the occurrence all that the tenderest of brothers could have done was proffered by the king to the wounded man; but after lingering for some months, Mr. Neilson died.“  (Liliʻuokalani)

“(T)he community was electrified by the intelligence, from Lahaina, that his Majesty had shot, and dangerously, if not fatally, wounded Henry A Neilson, formerly of New York, but since the accession of the King … his private secretary and constant attendant, confident and friend.”  (New York Times)

“Much more might be said, were I disposed to report every flying rumor. Conjecture is alive to the motive of such an imprudent, impolitic act. The first supposition of all is that it was jealousy – whether well-founded or baseless. But no breath of suspicion lights upon the young Queen. She is by every one acquitted of such a folly and dishonor as giving any cause of vengeance to her lord. She is above reproach.”  (New York Times)

“I incline to the opinion that the act was committed under the influence of ungovernable passion, accompanied by more or less of temporary mental aberration brought on by brooding on his troubles. There seemed to be a distinct intention to kill the man he shot. For this some assign as the cause jealousy, created by ill-disposed persons in his train; others anger at indiscretions of Neilson. All feel deeply for the Queen."  (New York Times)

The Honolulu Advertiser ventured an editorial on September 28 and actually mentioned the act (“the king shooting his secretary”) but with no details. They said the act was “an open contradiction to the laws of God and man, which can under no pretext be justified.” Yet, it concluded: “He has erred, so we are all liable to commit acts of error.”  (Theroux)

On October 12 the king wrote a letter to Neilson in which he “regretted” this “great false act of my life … the act committed by me was premeditated, founded upon suspicions long harrowed up and extending for a length of time.”  (Theroux)

King Kamehameha IV (Alexander Liholiho) announced that he would make a public proclamation, submit to a trial and abdicate the throne. A flurry of letters were exchanged between the king and his minister of foreign affairs, Robert Wylie.

The King listed his reasons for abdication, but Wylie begged him not to exaggerate the gravity of the affair and opposed the proclamation. He insisted that “no emergency has occurred,” that “abdication” would be “a shame on himself” and “annihilation on the sovereignty of the nation.” (Theroux)

The Privy Council and the House of Nobles, the legislatures of the day, advised against “abdication.” One of the few items that appeared in the papers was a notice from the Privy Council that, despite rumors, the king would not abdicate his throne.  “We are authorized to state, for the purpose of allaying any anxiety that may exist in the public mind, that the rumors in regard to his Majesty's abdication are, we are happy to say, without foundation."  (New York Times)

By October 20, McKibbin reported to the king that Neilson was “feverish and in low spirits.” On November 20, he suffered a relapse and the wound opened “afresh.”

“There were causes which were apparent to any of our people for something very like righteous anger on the part of the king. His Majesty was trying to make us each and all happy; yet even during moments of relaxation, undue familiarity, absence of etiquette, rudeness, or any other form which implied or suggested disrespect to royalty in any manner whatsoever, would never be tolerated by anyone of the native chiefs of the Hawaiian people.”  (Liliʻuokalani)

“To allow any such breach of good manners to pass unnoticed would be looked upon by his own retainers as belittling to him, and they would be the first to demand the punishment of the offender. It was in this case far too severe. No one realized that more than the king himself, who suffered much distress for his victim, and was with difficulty dissuaded from the abdication of his throne.”  (Liliʻuokalani)

“If ever mortal man suffered the pangs of remorse it was Liholiho the king. From the first sober moment, if he was drunk, he never forgot the deed, and all that he could order done for the poor unfortunate sufferer was done to relieve him.”  (Gorham D. Gilman, in Thrum)

"I used to visit Mr. Neilson and never a word did I hear him utter against the king. I believe that they were two friends until that fateful night.  … In my recollection Kamehameha IV was the most of a gentleman in his manner of the five kings I was favored to be acquainted with. He was so from boyhood.”  (Gorham D. Gilman, in Thrum)

“The (then) seaside cottage of the king, on the present site of the Enterprise Mill, was assigned to him for a residence.  Subsequently he was moved to a cottage on Alakea street, just below the Wicke's premises, and which he occupied to the time of his death, which occurred February 12th, 1862, as shown by the following notice in the Advertiser of the 13th: "Yesterday morning, Mr. Henry A. Neilson died in this city. In former years he was well known, but for two and a half years past has been confined to his room by the unfortunate occurrence which is familiar to all."  (Thrum)

There was never an official investigation into the shooting of Henry Neilson.

On the 27th of August, 1862, Prince Albert, the four-year-old son of Alexander Liholiho and Emma died. “The king and queen had the sympathy of all parties in their bereavement; but Kamehameha IV completely lost his interest in public life, living in the utmost possible retirement until his death.”  (Liliʻuokalani)

The king became a recluse, suffering from asthma and depression. He died on St. Andrew’s Day, November 30, 1863, two months’ short of his 30th birthday. Emma ran unsuccessfully for the throne in 1874, losing to David Kalākaua. She died in 1885 at the age of 50.

The image shows Henry Neilson; in addition, I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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